Tech challenge looks to connect people and land owners over land access

The province of Saskatchewan is looking for creative ways to connect a regular Joe (or Jane) to a land owner to get permission to access land. While attending and speaking at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention, Premier Scott Moe announced this Innovation Challenge. The challenge comes after changes to The Trespass to Property Act, which requires people to get permission from rural property owners to use their land for hunting and other recreational activities.

Saskatchewan technology startups, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students were asked to apply if they can solve the following question: “How can technology be used as a tool to obtain permission from rural property owners before accessing their land?”

SARM will lead the challenge and say the ideal solution should create a convenient way for communication to occur between those seeking permission to access land and the landowners.

“Saskatchewan has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurial achievement, and right now the technology sector in our province is thriving,” Moe says. “With the strong leadership and commitment of SARM, we’re hopeful our innovators and entrepreneurs will answer the call.”

The deadline to apply for the challenge is April 30th. Prior to this there will be information sessions held at Regina, Saskatoon, and online.

“Providing the public a tool to assist with receiving permission from rural property owners is important,” SARM president Ray Orb says.  “SARM hopes this initiative will assist in finding an innovative solution.”

The winner will be selected through a competitive process involving input from key stakeholders, and will receive funding of up to $10,000. The successful candidate will work directly with SARM over the course of four months to develop a prototype of their technology.

The Innovation Challenge was first launched in 2017 with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice. The challenge sought technological solutions to address rural crime. Saskatoon’s Rivercity Technology Services Limited won the challenge. The company developed a prototype during the 16-week residency called BeeSecure, an application-based tracking system and GPS device to alert land owners of irregular activity related to their property.

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